We can all agree that traveling is an amazing experience. You get to experience new cultures from around the world and see how people live their lives differently from yours. One of the most exciting parts of traveling is trying the local cuisine. Living in one area, you only get to try what is popular in your region, and rarely get the opportunity to try international foods. The downside of traveling, is that you can’t always get to it. With work, school, or finances, you don’t always have the chance to hop on a plane any time you want. With this list of international foods from around the globe, you can bring the cultures of other countries to your kitchen to cure that travel bug.
1. Hawaii – Spam Musubi
Our first item on our list of international foods is found on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Near cash registers, grocery stores, and in gas stations, you’ll find a common snack in Hawaii called Spam Musubi. Japan has a rice ball snack wrapped in seafood that helped influence spam musubi. You’ll usually find a piece of spam slathered in soy sauce, surround by rice on each side, all wrapped by seaweed. There can also be other foods added to the wrap, like egg, sesame seeds, or furikake. It’s relatively easy to make, and you can customize it to include ingredients you like. We have a recipe for you HERE.
2. France – Crêpes
The word “crêpe” is french for pancake. The difference between traditional crêpes and pancakes is the thickness. Typical pancakes are usually thick, while crêpes are very thin and easily rolled with various ingredients inside. You can have sweet dessert crêpes or salty and savory crêpes for any meal. The crêpe itself is usually made of a combination of milk, eggs, flour, and butter. Sweet crêpes usually have fruit (like strawberries and bananas) with whipped cream or nutella. Savory crêpes can range from ham and eggs to salmon and asparagus. You can really add anything you want, so get creative! Here’s a simple crêpe recipe for you to try on your list of international foods.
3. Taiwan – Gua Bao
This snack food on our list of international foods is the Whopper of Taiwan. Gua bao is a Taiwanese snack item with stewed meat sandwiched in a steam bread. The inside is usually filled with braised pork belly, pickled Chinese cabbage and powdered peanuts. Gua bao is one of the most popular street food dishes in the country. Even though it’s typically filled with pork belly, you can also find chicken, fried fish, eggs, stewed beef, vegetarian, or even sweet versions with fruits or jams inside these buns. The most fun part of this recipe is the making of the buns, so give it a try HERE.
4. Venezuela – Pabellon Criollo
The word pabellon means flag, so this dish is served to resemble the three stripes of the Venezuelan flag. It is served on a plate with red tomatoes and shredded beef, black beans, and white rice to depict the the three colors of the flag – yellow, blue, and red. Pabellon Criollo is a traditional Venezuelan dish that some even consider to be the national plate of Venezuela. You can start your Venezuelan journey HERE.
5. Canada – Poutine
For a late night eat, most people living in Canada will point you towards the classic dish known as poutine. It’s a medley of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds that originated in Quebec, Canada. Served hot, this dish is perfect to conclude a night of dancing your heart out. The cheese melts into the warm gravy and it creates a dish of pure deliciousness that Canadians have come to love. Plus, it’s super easy to make. You can create it HERE.
6. Morocco – Spicy Meatball Tagine with Poached Eggs
Moroccan food is known for its intricate spices and Mediterranean vegetables. It has a lot of Arabic and European influences that make Moroccan food a special treat. One of the more popular dishes is a spicy meatball tagine with poached eggs. Dinner is typically a lighter meal in Morocco, so it’s not abnormal to have eggs served with the main dish. The word ‘Tagine’ refers to the method of cooking that involves slow braising of meats with vegetables. This meal is perfect served family style, which is a very Moroccan way of eating. Visit Morocco HERE.
7. New Zealand – Pavlova
There’s a big debate over where pavlova originated from. Some say it started in Australia, and other claim it came from New Zealand. The earliest account of the dish was in 1929 in Wellington, New Zealand. It was created by a chef that was inspired by a touring ballerina, so he wanted to create dish with clouds of meringue to mimic her tutu and kiwifruit slices to copy the green roses that were displayed on her costume. Pavlova is a delicious dessert item with lots of whipped cream, sugar, and sweet fruits. Get your recipe HERE.
8. Thailand – Pad Krapow Moo Saap
This dish is a very common lunch or dinner item that’s usually served with a lot of chili, so beware if you’re not a fan of hot foods. However, a lot of Thailand foods are typically served spicy, so leave the chili to get a more authentic Thai experience for this meal. This “one plate” meal includes fried basil and pork served on top of a bed of steamed rice. Thai food is known for being zesty, spicy, and full of flavor, so this is a great dish to give you a little bit of everything. Try your hand at this dish HERE.
9. Pakistan – Haleem
In Pakistan, most foods have a some sort of combination including milk, lentils, seasonal sabzi, flour and wheat products in their dishes. These international foods can have a lot of seasonings and spices with its influence from India, Afghanistan, and Iran. One of the most popular dishes in Pakistan is haleem, a delicious mixture of slow cooked meat and lentils that’s similar to a stew. It can be sold at as a snack food and street food in Pakistani bazaars (an enclosed marketplace or street where goods and services are exchanged). The state religion in Pakistan is Islam, which is practiced by about 95–98% of the nation, so haleem is also served as a special dish prepared during the Ramadan and Muharram months of the Muslim Hijri calendar.
10. Poland – Kiełbasa
For our last item on our list of international foods, we turn to Eastern Europe. The cuisine in Poland is typically focused around meat, such as pork, chicken, and beef, cabbage, and spices. Poland has a rich agricultural land, which has led to a rise in cereal grains, such as wheat, rye, buckwheat, and barley. One of the staples of Poland is the kiełbasa, which means “sausage” in polish. There are many varieties of sausages in Poland depending on what region you’re talking about. HERE is a typical potato kielbasa skillet recipe to give you a sample of Polish cuisine.
The world is so incredibility diverse, and luckily, we have the internet to connect us together. When you can’t travel, make something from another country to help cure your wanderlust fever. Even if it turns out as something you never want to make again, get out of your comfort zone and try something new! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of these international foods, and what your favorite international foods are!